As I was standing with him, talking, he started poking at the crack, making it bigger. I guess in his mind, he assumed I was going to fix it, so it didn’t matter.
But it mattered in a deeper way than he could have imagined.
Afterwards, as I considered what had happened, I saw how deeply my wiring went when it came to not speaking up when something was happening that I felt wasn’t okay.
I heard that wiring in my head as, “Don’t question; don’t say anything; keep quiet; don’t cause trouble.”
It was old wiring from childhood that had taken over.
I was a grown woman, a homeowner who had hired this man to do work for me. And yet, in that moment when I couldn’t speak up, I was a child, feeling small and powerless.
I was a little girl who didn’t feel allowed to speak up, even when what was happening around her didn’t feel right or was upsetting or confusing.
If a new friend tramples one of your boundaries, do you feel comfortable speaking up then? How about when a family member continually says things that you find hurtful – are you willing to address it?
Or, does the concept of speaking up, using your voice in an assertive way, feel like “conflict” to you?
Does it make you want to dive into a deep hole to protect yourself?
Those of us who recognize that wiring of “keep quiet” have gotten really good at suppressing what we feel. It causes us to lose our authenticity and damages our relationship with ourselves and others.
When we continually stuff things down that we want to address, it turns into anger and resentment.
Ironically, we mistakenly believe that we’re protecting our connection to others by staying small and quiet. This is because initially, if you started doing this in your childhood, there was a good reason for it, and it did keep you safe.
But now, it’s pretty likely that it is destructive on both a personal level and in your relationships with others. That unresolved, tense, negative, and conflicted energy doesn’t go away – it lingers beneath the surface until Life presents another opportunity to bring it up in an effort to heal it.
Perhaps, like me, these are some things that you need to hear:
- You deserve to be seen; you deserve to be heard; you deserve to speak up if something is happening that you're not okay with.
- Your needs matter just as much as everyone else’s.
- You being assertive does not mean that you are being aggressive, rude, or disrespectful.
Practice speaking up and using your voice in situations where it feels safe to do so. Each time I do now, I can feel that little person inside me who didn’t feel permitted to use her voice, cheering me on.
Check in and see if you might have a similar experience.
Learn more about Core-level Coaching
Learn more about Bobbi Beuree, Nova Scotia-based Coach + Facilitator
Bobbi Beuree, Certified CAN Coach + Facilitator is located Nova Scotia and provides interactive 1:1 coaching services, as well as group coaching events.